Bangladesh one-day international skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza on Sunday lamented for not fulfilling their expectations in the 2019 ICCWorldCup although he found lots of positives for the Tigers for the upcoming days.
The Tigers finished eighth in the 10-team event after winning three matches in the tournament and a rain washed-out tie against Sri Lanka saw them ending with seven points – as many as seventh place South Africa.
Bangladesh had a terrific start to their sixth participation in the biggest cricketing event when they notched up a 21-run victory over South Africa at The Oval to increase their hopes of reaching the semi-final stage for the first time.
However, as things progressed, the dream slowly disappeared after Bangladesh lost to India in their penultimate game of the league stage and conceded a big hammering against Pakistan in their final outing.
Despite team’s poor effort, there were some individual performances that kept grabbing headlines throughout their journey in the tournament as Sakib al Hasan provided a sublime all-round effort for them in the whole event.
Sakib scored 606 runs in eight games and also took 11 wickets – first ever cricketer to do so in a World Cup– while pacer Mustafizur Rahman later chipped in with two five-wicket hauls to finish with a tally of 20 wickets in the tournament.
‘We didn’t do as well as expected. But if you see our playing approach, it was really positive. There were a lot of positives but we couldn’t fulfill our expectations,’ Mashrafee told reporters at the airport upon the team’s arrival from London.
‘Firstly, I think Sakib was outstanding. Sakib, Mustafiz, Mushfiq [Rahim] and Saifuddin [Mohammad] have played outstanding cricket. The other players have performed averagely, but I think these four players have performed extraordinarily.
‘Till the India match, we officially had a chance for the semi-finals. But other than Sakib and Mushfiq, other players were not always consistent. At the same time, in a few particular situations we needed luck to favour us but it didn’t happen. One whole week was interrupted by rain, which hampered us and helped a few teams,’ he added.
Mashrafee also had a disappointing outing in the ICC event where he could only take one wicket in eight innings and he took the blame on his shoulder for not leading the team to their cherished target in the tournament.
‘Firstly, as a captain, if I fail to lead the team to expected results there will always be criticism. I have to take responsibility for the entire team. That’s normal. I take the whole responsibility as I should. At the same time I would like to say that players face criticisms all around the world, especially after a tournament or series.
‘And it happening after the World Cup is very normal. At the same time I would say that in a few places we could’ve concentrated a bit more,’ he added.
Mashrafee backed young players once again and hoped they would perform like the senior players when they are matured enough and have played more matches for the Tigers.
‘The young players are always excessively blamed. The senior players in the current team were not so consistent when they first started out as the current young players are. They are playing under a lot of pressure which we didn’t have to do when we were young.
‘There is no point in blaming them one-sided. They tried very hard. The stage is very big, it is not so easy to perform. I think with experience they will also reach the level of Sakib, Mushfiq, Tamim [Iqbal] and Riyad [Mahmudullah],’ he added.
-With New Age input